January 19, 2016

fire risk at petrol station

I have this habit of recording my fuel consumption whenever I start a new tank of gas/petrol with my car. Usually, I’d just whip out my cellphone at the pump to record the stats right there and then with an Evernote app and then I’d put my phone away. But today, my actions drew some uncanny reactions from a couple of old farts in a white MyVi at the pump behind my car.

The driver, who looked like some old hunchback dentist, was glowering at me like I was the perpetrator who stole his wife’s XXXL underwear or something. I wasn’t sure initially if he was actually targeting me but my suspicion was later confirmed when his fellow old fart passenger – who looked like an old pedophile priest – pointed at me and was mumbling something to that hunchback dentist in the car *inaudible dialog*. I immediately became uncomfortable of course at the bordering rude theatrics, and gestured back to the 2 gents with some hand signals while lip syncing –> ‘What the the fuck are you looking at??’ (I’m not fond of old people, so I didn’t hold back from expressing my thoughts)

Pedophile priest then lifted up his antique cellphone (with buttons) and pointed at it – to indicate that he’s/they’re not happy with me swiping my cell phone at the pump (this must be the root of the age old urban legend belief that cellphones may cause fire at gas/petrol pumps). You can imagine that this is the same scenario that happened in Mos Eisley cantina in Star Wars episode IV, when Ponda Baba told Luke Skywalker in his unintelligible alien language at the bar that he doesn’t like him there, resulting his arm being hacked off with a lightsaber in an unfortunate turn of events that followed. My reaction? Unlike Luke, I gave them zero fucks. Of course, if given the permission to act freely without any consequence, I’d have opted to walk over to the MyVi and break off its side mirror in lieu of an arm as a trophy… Anyway, that’s not how the society works so, I went ahead with my business amidst the consternation of the 2 senior citizens with slightly elevated blood pressure.

Now back to the question – can a cellphone actually cause a fire at a gas/petrol station? Let’s fucking do this in an FAQ form for convenience’s sake.

So, can a cellphone cause fire at a gas station?
Fuck yes of course. Only if you short the battery contacts or do basically something stupid with your phone to cause a spark – like stabbing the battery pack with a metal knife (like this).

What if you use your phone normally?
Nuh uh. Not going to happen. You’re more likely to get a fire with a running engine than a fucking cellphone (my hypothesis – running rubber belt is like a Van der Graaf machine, spark plugs firing, car full of operating electronics/electrical doohickeys).

Well then, why do people keep saying cellphones cause fire at pumps?
Because they’re ill informed morons who also believe Microsoft is paying $1 to an orphanage everytime you share a post in your Facebook. You see, it takes a spark to ignite the gas/petrol fume to be able to start a fire. A phone is simply too lame to do that. You know what’s the major cause of fires? Static electricity.

What is static electricity?
Fucking google it you cheebye.

How does static electricity cause a fire?
When the static electricity discharges to a ground point or lower potential point through the air barrier, a spark is created (same principle that causes lightning) and MIGHT ignite the fume to start a fire. Your phone doesn’t do jackshit to make you gain charge.

How’d this normally happen?
When you move around, you pick up static electricity. When you’re charged and happens to touch a ground point near the refueling nozzle, there’s a chance that it might cause a spark, and therefore, might ignite the fume. That’s why gas/petrol stations are required to follow strict protocols to ground their pumps and shit.

How can I avoid this?
If you must ask, stay the fuck away from gas/petrol stations. If you must go anyway, just keep your bare hands in constant contact of your car body or the metal part of the pump console, BEFORE you fucking pump the gas/petrol. Stay at least a couple of feet away from the fueling point – away from the fume (besides being combustible, it is also carcinogenic – causes cancer), while maintaining constant contact with the car body/pump console. Refrain from walking around.

Do you have proof for this?
I don’t. But there are shitloads of research done and all you need to do is do some reading. Also, this is a busted myth by the Mythbusters – check the short video out here.

To the 2 old men glowering at me today, you know they’re saying that cellphones are bad for the brain, because it literally microwaves your head and causes brain damage. I wonder why you guys didn’t choose to believe in that as well?. Is it because you’re being a selective moron? That must be what you are.

michaelooi  | enlightenments, experiences  | 

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